08:57 AM

Grant Supports Transfer Students’ Success at UHD

‘Accelerated Transfer Program’ Recognized by U.S. Department of Education


By Mike Emery

Each year, hundreds of transfer students continue their academic journeys at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD).

Now, UHD has additional resources to help transfers graduate on time with little to no debt and provide them with targeted actions for career success.

The University is a recipient of a $2.748 million Title V grant that will support its “Accelerated Transfer Program” aimed at providing students with enhanced advising, coaching and clear pathways toward bachelor’s degrees. This grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (DHSI) Program.

The “Accelerated Transfer Program” is designed to enhance articulation agreements between UHD and community college partners. The goal of the program is to provide transfer students a transformative educational experience by implementing a collection of high impact strategies and practices that will prepare them for both academic and career success. These strategies also will significantly increase persistence and degree completion at UHD. The program has three critical phases for helping transfer students:

  • Charting the course: Components of this phase include embedded advisors and transfer webpage supplemented by degree maps, financial literacy, and pre-orientation messaging.
  • Fueling the journey: This includes enhanced transfer student orientation and transfer career learning communities supported by career services and pragmatic learning experiences inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Navigating the pathway: This is the final phase of mentoring and coaching will be supplemented by course redesign of gateway courses and academic recovery program.

Students who ultimately complete bachelor’s degrees in their selected disciplines will earn a “career digital badge” that will be applied to their respective comprehensive student records.

"The 'Accelerated Transfer Program' complements existing initiatives focused on transfer student success within UHD’s colleges and Division of Student Affairs. I twill further strengthen transfer student success in UHD’s classrooms … and ultimately, in their professional careers or graduate studies,” said Faiza Khoja, UHD associate vice president of academic affairs, who also serves as the Principal Investigator on this grant.

Dr. Bill Waller, professor of mathematics and and associate dean of the University College and Dr. Nazly Dyer, director of institutional data analytics, serve as the co-principal investigators.

In 2017, UHD signed articulation agreements with Houston Community College (HCC) and Lone Star College (LSC), two of the largest community colleges in the nation. These agreements are committed to the principles outlined in the “Accelerated Transfer Program.” Embedded advisers are already in place at HCC and LSC campuses, and this fall, UHD degree maps were rolled out offering guidance at both community colleges.

Soon, degree maps and embedded advising will be at San Jacinto College as UHD administrators recently signed articulation agreements with that institution on August 2018.

Title V awards from the DHSI Program support Hispanic-Serving Institutions as they expand academic opportunities for students. This year’s grant is one of three received by UHD over the past six years. In 2012, UHD received a Title V award in 2012 for Project Star (focusing on student transition and retention) and in 2015 for the Pathways to Teaching Careers Program.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.